The Iglesia Maradoniana (English: Church of Maradona; literally Maradonian Church ) is a religion, created by fans of the retired Argentine football player Diego Maradona, who they believe to be the best player of all time.
The Iglesia was founded on October 30, 1998 (Maradona's 38th birthday) in the city of Rosario, Argentina. It could be seen as a type of syncretism or as a religion, depending on what religious definition one chooses to use. It was said by Alejandro Verón, one of the founders: “I have a rational religion, and that’s Catholic Church, and I have a religion passed on my heart, passion, and that’s Diego Maradona.” Supporters of the Maradonian Church, supposedly from all parts of the world, count the years since Maradona's birth in 1960.
- The ball is never soiled.
- Love football above all else.
- Declare unconditional love for Diego and the beauty of football.
- Defend the Argentina shirt.
- Spread the news of Diego's miracles throughout the universe.
- Honour the temples where he played and his sacred shirts.
- Don't proclaim Diego as a member of any single team.
- Preach and spread the principles of the Church of Maradona.
- Make Diego your middle name.
- Name your first son Diego.
Our Diego, who is on the pitches,
Hallowed be thy left hand, bring us your magic. Make your goals remembered on earth as in heaven,
Give us some magic every day, forgive the English, as we have forgiven the Napolitan Mafia,
Don't let yourself get caught offside and free us from Havelange and Pelé.
It is popular, among the followers of this religion (and also among other football fans), the use of the neo-Tetragrammaton D10S as one of the names of Maradona: D10S is a portmanteau word which fuses 10 (diez in Spanish), Maradona's shirt number, and dios, the Spanish word for god.
Many Argentinians have not responded kindly to the idea of Maradona as God. After Maradona's drug problems some feel insulted when the famous football player is seen as a national symbol, and the fact that he is also seen as a son of God makes things worse. Carlos Tevez: "Although I believe in Maradona in football I sometimes question him when it comes to life, as he is wonderful in football and fabulous as a coach but lives a poor and dear life." (March 3)-Report from ESPN interview after the warm-up game with Germany.